The Tigers and left-hander/persistent trade candidate Matthew Boyd agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration on Friday, but Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press suggests that the two sides could yet discuss a lengthier pact. While it’s unlikely that the Scott Boras-represented Boyd would sign away any free-agent years, the two sides could discuss a deal that’d lock in his remaining arbitration years. That would provide the Tigers with cost certainty and create the potential for a relative bargain in the event that Boyd puts it all together after showing flashes of dominance in 2019 but struggling with home runs (as many of his peers did this past season). For Boyd, it’d protect him against an injury or notable decline prior to hitting the open market in the 2022-23 offseason — when he’ll be heading into his age-32 season.
More from the division…
- Although the White Sox have largely displaced James McCann with the signings of Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion, general manager Rick Hahn reiterated this weekend that he views McCann as a valuable member of the club (link via Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times). “Having quality depth is a positive thing on good clubs, and it’s part of what makes good clubs able to withstand the unexpected,” said Hahn. “We view James as potentially playing a role on a championship club, and that hasn’t changed since the end of last season to today.” There’s been some speculation about McCann’s availability in trade talks, but ChiSox leadership has publicly maintained a desire to keep McCann on the roster. The 29-year-old’s .273/.328/.460 slash in 2019 was clearly strong on the whole, but it was fueled by a .359 average on balls in play. Beyond that, McCann wilted over the summer, hitting just .231/.285/.410 from July through season’s end. Most of that was due to an abysmal month of July — he rebounded to an extent in August and September — but the Sox clearly still saw room for an upgrade. At $5.4MM, he’s a bit of an expensive backup, but few clubs can boast that type of offensive potential from their reserve catcher and the Sox have the payroll space to make the situation work.
- The Twins added former Royals and Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure to their coaching staff, per a team announcement. He’ll serve as their new bullpen coach, replacing the departed Jeremy Hefner, whom the Mets hired as their new pitching coach. The 67-year-old McClure is twice as old as the man he’s replacing, but he’s familiar with the organization after spending time as a pitching advisor with the Twins over the past three seasons. The Twins also bumped assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez to the title of hitting coach. They’ll somewhat atypically have two coaches with that title — Edgar Varela is the other — as opposed to the more conventional arrangement of one lead coach and one assistant. Varela and Hernandez are stepping up following the departure of James Rowson, who took a job as the Marlins’ new “offensive coordinator.”